What is the expected future of natural gas plants?
The Role of Natural Gas and Coal
According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), natural gas, and even coal, will have a significant role in generation well past the forecasted range. Natural gas and coal are dispatchable assets, meaning their output can be adjusted to meet the electrical grid’s changing needs. While the share of natural gas and coal-fired generation is expected to continue to decline, they are still expected to be needed to balance the load on the grid due to the intermittent nature of renewable resources.
U.S. Generation Forecasts
US electricity generation forecasts through 2050 show renewables continuing to grow (21% in 2020 growing to 42% in 2050). It also shows dispatchable, baseload generation from fossil fuel still playing a majority role in the US energy portfolio for decades to come – natural gas (36% in 2050), coal (11% in 2050) and nuclear (11% in 2050). This graph from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (2021) and offers an outlook for future energy use.
MPW’s Plan to Transition to Natural Gas
Natural gas isn’t dependent on the wind or sun to produce energy. Until the efficiency and storage of renewable energy is resolved, natural gas will remain crucial in supplying 24/7 reliable energy.
MPW’s plan to increase its renewables with local solar, transition from coal-fired to cleaner burning, natural gas-fired generation and leave a portion of its energy portfolio open, allows MPW to invest in additional renewables or cleaner technologies as costs come down and technologies further develop.